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Employee Advocacy

Employee Advocacy vs Employee Engagement

By Emily Neal27/09/2022June 21st, 2024No Comments9 min read
Employee Advocacy vs Employee Engagement

Employee advocacy… employee engagement… you’ve probably heard these terms over the past few years.

But what is the difference? 🤔

Are they the same thing?

In this post, we’ll clear up any confusion. Find out what employee advocacy is, what employee engagement is, and how improving one will improve the other! 💪

what's the diff?

What Is The Difference Between Employee Advocacy and Employee Engagement?

Employee advocacy and employee engagement are definitely related, but they’re not the same thing.

Let me break it down for you…

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy is a form of word-of-mouth marketing🗣

It’s a strategy where companies encourage their employees to share content on social media, from company news to behind-the-scenes photos of events.

There are so many reasons why companies should encourage employee advocacy.

It’s incredibly cost-effective compared to traditional advertising, and can dramatically increase the online visibility of your brand. Check out our ROI calculator to find out just how much of your marketing budget you could save!

Employee posts generate 800% more engagement than the exact same posts shared by official brand accounts 🤯

Employee advocacy is our bread and butter here at DSMN8. We’ve seen some truly incredible results from our own program, and our clients.

anchorman team gif

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is the degree to which employees are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their organization.

Engaged employees are committed to the organization and proud of what they do. They’re both enthusiastic and productive 🔥

You can see why it’s a key driver of performance and business success!

There are many factors that contribute to employee engagement, such as: level of trust in leadership, sense of purpose or meaning in their work, and connection with colleagues.

To foster employee engagement, provide your team with meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and create a culture of respect and appreciation.

Measure engagement by surveying employees. Asking them questions about their commitment to the organization, how they feel about your workplace culture, and ask for feedback (positive and negative!).

Now you know the difference between employee advocacy and employee engagement.

But how are the two linked? 🤔

Employee advocacy doesn’t work without employee engagement. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

The success of employee advocacy depends on employee involvement.

You need engaged employees for your advocacy program. They’re your champions! 🏆

Happy employees who believe in your company values and product make the perfect employee advocates.

i love my job gif

Sharing content shouldn’t be a forced task. You don’t own your employees’ social media accounts.

While you can boost employee advocacy with gamification, the most effective way to onboard users is through improving employee engagement and education.

Your employees need to know why advocacy is important to the company and how it supports their career goals.

Think about it from their perspective:

If your company culture is all work, no play… your employees might be struggling with their work-life balance. It’s a recipe for burnout!

Would these employees tell their friends publicly that working for you is great? Probably not 🙅🏻‍♀️

💡 Top Tip: Consider Dan Pink’s three conditions for motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

How do these apply to your workplace? Are you providing employees with all three?

How to Improve Employee Engagement

So, you know that employee engagement is super important for employee advocacy. But how do you actually improve it?

There are many things that can be done in order to boost employee engagement.

Here are three key methods to consider:

1. Offer an environment where employees can feel comfortable and take part in discussions or brainstorming sessions 🧠

2. Provide training that helps individuals grow their skillsets ✏️

3. Implement a flexible work environment where they can balance their professional and personal life 🙌

Workplace Culture

It all starts with workplace culture!

Company culture is an important aspect of any organization.

The culture in the office provides a sense of belonging and motivation for employees.

Maintaining a healthy work environment is an essential for both productivity, and reducing employee dissatisfaction.

the office dance gif

What makes a good workplace culture?

  • A collaborative environment
  • A transparent company structure
  • A friendly and supportive management team

Workplace culture is a lot more than just the people who are in it.

It’s about how we work together, what we talk about, and how we interact with one another. It’s about what we believe in and how those values are reflected in our actions.

Think about workplace culture as a reflection of your company’s identity.

Employee Engagement Ideas

Need a bit of inspiration?

Here are 18 ideas for improving employee engagement:

1. Organize a fun team-building activity, like an escape room or bowling! 🎳

2. Amazing ideas can come from anywhere! Have a group session to talk about your business goals and how to achieve them. When employees have the ability to share their ideas, they feel valued.

Joey from Friends Pizza Gif

3. Have a pizza party at the office on Friday afternoon. Get to know each other over some food! 🍕

4. Provide personal development opportunities. Give employees the opportunity to learn new skills and build up their professional networks. Courses and events like conferences are a great way to achieve this.

5. Recognize the achievements of your employees, and make sure to include extra-curricular activities too. It’s not all about reaching KPI’s, how are your employees working towards their personal goals? Did they recently run a marathon? Incredible!

6. Build a trusting relationship. There’s nothing worse than being micro-managed! Measure output, not input.

Patrick from Spongebob meditating

7. Prioritize staff wellbeing. Most companies offer perks to their employees, but the most important perks focus on health and wellness. From mental health support to gym discounts, show employees that you care 🌱

8. Encourage mentoring. Your junior employees would benefit hugely from coaching. Employees asked to be mentors will feel valued. It’s a win-win 🤝

9. Give back to your local community. Spend a day planting trees together, organize a charity bake sale, volunteer at a food bank. Stand for something everyone can be proud of.

10. Get regular feedback. Not just from exit interviews! Tip: anonymous surveys help employees feel comfortable giving their honest opinion. 

11. Follow through with the feedback you’ve received. It’s so important to give employees a voice, but make sure to act on it. Make changes based on employee suggestions.

12. Improve internal comms. How do your employees stay up-to-date with company news? Do you have an intranet or app? Or do you just send an email newsletter every now and again? Your employee advocacy platform can drastically improve internal communications, by providing one place for everyone to stay updated! No need for scrolling through various emails, social media pages and intranets if there’s one feed for it all.

I love this. I feel so social.

13. Find opportunities for collaboration between teams. Departments can sometimes feel a bit estranged from each other. Think of ways they can work together!

14. Have a great onboarding process. It’s really important to make sure your new hires feel part of the team.

15. Promote from within. Career progression is fundamental for maintaining a great company culture. If there’s no pathway for promotion, employees won’t stay at the company long and will be less engaged. 📈

16. Flexibility. Consider each employees’ individual needs and working styles. Some people work better from home, others need to be in the office 5 days a week.

17. Team photos. Make sure to take fun photos at social events and at work. Put them up on a display board, so everyone can see them. This helps make employees feel valued, and reminds them of good times. 📷

18. Celebrate. Don’t just have drinks when someone’s leaving. Organize events for new hires to meet the team. Celebrate company milestones. Have random team social events once in a while.

How to Encourage Employee Advocacy with Employee Engagement

So how can I encourage employee advocacy with employee engagement? 🤔

Start by creating a culture of transparency, which is a two-way process. Employees should be able to share their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution. Managers should also be open and responsive to their employees’ needs.

Provide the right tools for employees so they can easily find information they need for their social media posts. This includes things like an online knowledge base and up-to-date company news, where employees can find the information that they need and access it on demand.

man learning gif

Offer support for your employee advocates. Make sure you provide social media training, and teach them about content creation.

Share your goals and expectations! Employee advocates are much more likely to achieve results if they know what your KPIs are.

Employees feel more engaged and satisfied with their job when there are opportunities for them to have a voice. From shaping company policies and procedures that affect their work environment, to providing regular feedback on their day-to-day workflow.

Empowering your employees at work helps empower them online!

If employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions, they’ll feel they can do the same when building their personal brand. 💪

Ready to get started with employee advocacy?

But not sure if you’re ready for an employee advocacy platform?

Take our short quiz to see if you have the foundations in place!

Prefer to cut to the chase and speak with a member of our team?

Roger that!

Schedule a call with one of the team.


Emily Neal

SEO and Content Specialist at DSMN8. Emily has 10 years experience blogging, and is a pro at Pinterest Marketing, reaching 1 million monthly views. She’s all about empowering employees to grow their personal brands and become influencers.